Developers expect to break ground on biotech plant in May

April 5, 2015

in Yahoo! News

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Following several delays, developers expect to break ground in May on a new biotechnology plant in Newport that is largely funded by foreign investors and slated to create at least 400 jobs.

AnC Bio Vermont is part of a years-long economic development initiative in northern Vermont led by Jay Peak Resort President Bill Stenger and partner Ariel Quiros that includes expanding Jay Peak and Burke Mountain ski resorts, rebuilding a downtown block and building a waterfront hotel.

The roughly 80,000-square AnC Bio Vermont facility will do research, manufacture heart-lung machines and portable dialysis machines, and perform cell-culturing for heart therapy.

Last week the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation gave developers approval to seek other investors. The state had asked them to stop marketing the project last summer until they could provide an updated marketing analysis and investor offering. They provided that new information last month.

The state also sought information about the company’s relationship with AnC Bio Korea after the building that housed the Korean company’s headquarters was auctioned off. Any concern that the Korean plant was in financial trouble that could affect the Vermont venture is unfounded, Stenger said.

“We own the intellectual property that was created there,” said Stenger of AnC Korea. “That’s the only financial relationship and we have no liability. There’s not one downside to this.”

The project is 80 percent funded, largely through the EB-5 immigrant investor program, which offers a path to residency to eligible foreigners who invest $500,000 to $1 million in a qualified American business.

The state has now given developers approval to seek other investors, but any more money raised must be put in escrow until the state completes a financial review and ultimately approves the project, said Susan Donegan, commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation.

“The project has not been approved and the financial review has not been completed,” she said.

A total of about 2,300 jobs have been identified as part of the project, many of them in construction, Stenger said.

Over the next six months, the company will be recruiting to fill 400 to 450 jobs once the facility opens. One third will be in manufacturing, another third will likely be in stem-cell development and research and product creation, and another third in the clean room operations and day-to-day activities, Stenger said.

“We own very high quality intellectual property and patents, and we’re going to be able to offer those products and services in the North American market, in the South American market, in a debt-free FDA certified building, which will be in Newport, Vermont,” Stenger said.

Previous post:

Next post: